The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Adversaria (12)

‘Lack of clarity is selfish and confusing. The writer is wasting your time. Up with this you need not put’ —Deidre Nansen McCloskey (Economical Writing, p. 17)

‘No one is prepared to be Serious, especially about Art. I liked the way these critics wrote and fell under the rhetorical spell of their semi-colons, qualifications and parentheses. Their casual appropriations, novel compounds and elaborate metaphors spoke of a mind that believed itself equal to anything’ —Lavinia Greenlaw (The Importance of Music to Girls, p. 171)

‘Reality itself is deep, precisely in that it is not yet locked up; and realism itself, when it is real, withdraws from the schema which knowns everything in advance and construes everything according to formula. It is far truer that the timetable of the process is nowhere smooth and uninterrupted. It is not made up once and for all like some dull middle-class Cooks’ tour where, on a mass basis, every last detail has already been tried out and rationally organized, so there is not discovery or hazard—everything having been predigested and disposed of’ —Ernst Bloch (On Karl Marx, trans. John Maxwell, p. 138f.)

‘Although it is risky to ask mosaics more than they are prepared to tell, it is foolish not to ask them anything at all’ —Yvon Thébert (‘Private Life and Domestic Architecture in Roman Africa’, in A History of Private Life (vol. 1), trans. Arther Goldhammer, p. 397)

‘…it must be recognized that many of life’s experiences only verify and illustrate the most conventional ideas, which one may have already encountered in numerous books without believing them’ —Guy Debord (Panegyric I, trans. James Brook, p. 48)

‘Those who are satisfied only with ready-cooked nourishment are poor in spirit. A good cause, even if it is an old one, is always “in the making”; and if this be not understood, the cause will lose contact with life’ —Ernst Bloch (On Karl Marx, trans. John Maxwell, p. 153)

‘Therein lies a clue, to be sure, but to what, we will never know’ —Evelyne Patlagean (‘Byzantium in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries’, in A History of Private Life (vol. 1), trans. Arther Goldhammer, p. 608)


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